Residents and regular users of State Highway 6 are being reminded there will be no direct link for them to use between Hira and Rai Valley when emergency repairs begin next month.
The State Highway will be closed between Hira and Ronga Road near Rai Valley from 1 November to 18 December.
Mark Owen, Regional Manager Wellington/Top of South, says Waka Kotahi is aware of the concerns residents and road users have about the closure.
“We continue to work closely with the people within the closure, in the Kokorua Road area, to explore options for safe access from their properties out to Hira.”
Feedback from recent community meetings highlighted individual situations of those directly affected by this highway closure. Waka Kotahi is working with these people to explore access options while this critical highway restoration is carried out.
Mark Owen says public access through the work sites won’t be possible.
‘This is due to the nature of the work required and the fact the work sites will use the entire road width for construction, particularly in the early phases of the emergency repairs.”
And Mr Owen says there is no way of allowing traffic to move to and from the closure zone into the Rai Valley via forestry roads either.
“These forestry roads were badly damaged during the August weather event and can’t be used.”
Waka Kotahi acknowledges the planned closure will bring considerable disruption for residents and businesses within and on either side of the closure area, including people and businesses in nearby areas, such as Hira, Cable Bay, the Rai Valley, Havelock, and Okiwi Bay.
Mark Owen says the August weather event severely damaged State Highway 6 between Hira and the Rai Valley, leaving it in a very fragile state.
“If there were to be another significant flood, the route could be shut down entirely for months, not weeks. For the sake of the local community and regular users of the road, this is a risk we can’t afford to take. It is why we have chosen to do a seven-week closure to get the repairs done as quickly as possible”, Mr Owen says.
Waka Kotahi will provide a further update on the closure and access options for affected residents later this week.
People can travel between Blenheim and Nelson by using State Highway 63 (SH63) through to Kawatiri junction, then State Highway 6 (SH6).
While there are other options to travel on local roads from St Arnaud, we recommend people stay on the state highways, as they are safer and suited to higher traffic volumes and all vehicle types.
Rai Valley to Nelson detour:
Havelock to Nelson detour:
Renwick to Rai Valley detour:
When is the road closure on State Highway 6?
Can State Highway 6 be open at night or at intervals to let people through?
Will the work be carried out 24/7 and during the weekends within the 7-week closure period?
By the numbers
What access will there be for residents within the closure zone?